MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Harrison Greenberg Foundation has announced the reopening of Manhattan Beach Pier’s signature historic landmark: the newly revitalized Roundhouse Aquarium. Designed by world-renowned architectural firm CambridgeSeven, the building reopens this weekend as a state-of-the-art teaching and experiential destination through which Oceanographic Teaching Stations (O.T.S.) will educate and inspire hundreds of thousands of local children and visitors.
Inspired by the life and memory of Harrison Greenberg, the Foundation successfully raised more than $4 million to fund the Roundhouse Aquarium Beautification Project and revive the popular marine center. The Foundation now plans to devote its attention to raising funds to support the aquarium’s continued educational programs, camps, maintenance and staffing, to ensure that it remains free of charge and open to generations of future children – many of whom are visiting the beach for the first time to learn about sea life and the environment.
“Harrison’s childhood was centered on the ocean so when we wanted to honor his life, it was beautifully appropriate to continue his legacy through the Roundhouse Aquarium,” said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers and father of Harrison, who passed away at 19. “With its deteriorated tanks and facilities, the interior of the aquarium was in serious disrepair. Harrison would be proud to have played a part in reviving the place where he had so many wonderful memories. The Roundhouse is an iconic gem of our community, and it’s imperative that we continue to protect this aquarium from the elements so that it can share its teachings with our children and our children’s children.”
With a grand feel that belies its small size, the renovated aquarium’s open design, ocean view, floor-to-ceiling tanks and immersive audiovisual experience of the Pacific’s waters offer a transformative, larger-than-life experience to visitors. The inspired concept was envisioned by Peter Sollogub, associate principal of CambridgeSeven – one of the world’s most preeminent aquarium design firms.
“Though we’ve designed many installations around the world, this is one of our most important creations because of how it came to be,” said Peter Sollogub. “Nearly all of our projects are many, many times larger, but the Roundhouse Aquarium has every last speck of what they have in its little container. We’re so honored to celebrate Harrison’s life through this lovely historical landmark, and to inspire so many more lives for years to come.”
Constructed in 1920, the Roundhouse originally opened its doors as an aquarium in 1981 and was last restored in 1992. Managed by O.T.S.’ team of specialists and volunteers, the new Roundhouse Aquarium will have four sponsored galleries featuring more than 14 marine life tanks and 75 species of marine life native to Southern California, as well as select species from other parts of the world. Exhibits include a sea jellies tank entry, shark tank and additional marine life such as moray eels, seahorses, a sheephead and octopus, as well as a learning center with a new wrap-around touch tank designed to be accessible and interactive to visitors.
“The new design will allow us to be more experiential, more interactive – it really opens up a world of opportunities,” said John Roberts, board president of O.T.S. “The new layout and technology enable us to devise new programs that could secure more grants to help support the aquarium. This project hasn’t just revived the Roundhouse, it revives our relationship with the entire Los Angeles and Orange County communities.”
About the Harrison Greenberg Foundation
The Harrison Greenberg Foundation was established in 2015 in tribute to Harrison Greenberg’s memory, to ensure that his love of the ocean can be shared with generations of future children. A tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Foundation raises funds for the revival and maintenance of the Manhattan Beach Roundhouse, a historical landmark and aquarium at the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier. For more information, please visit roundhousebeautification.com.